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John F. Chuchiak IV, Ph.D.

212 University Hall
Honors College
Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri  65897
(417) 836-4852
(417) 836-6370
(417) 836-6372
JohnChuchiak@missouristate.edu

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Public Execution

 

After the public vindications and abjurations had occurred, the inquisitors proceeded to make a public absolution of the penitent heretics.

 

The attendees then recited several prayers and chanted several hymns. At this point, the Inquisition's secretary and other officials handed over those condemned to death to the civil authorities.

 

A final procession then began of the condemned along with the other effigies, statues, and bones of the deceased to be relaxed.

 

The ceremony concluded with the celebration of a Catholic mass.

Then, a special procession and parade returned the green cross and the symbol of the Inquisition to its proper place in the Palace of the Inquisition.

 

The entire spectacle had as its ultimate goal the inspiration of the public's reverential fear of the Inquisition and its abhorrence of heresy.

 

Thus, the Inquisition, through the entire solemnity of the auto-da-fé, attempted to create what one scholar has called a mimicking of Christ's last judgment of the damned.